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Archive for ‘Technology’

Metatag Suits Should Now Be Dropped

Although SEO specialists have long denied that metatags matter, there have been lawsuits over them for a number of reasons, including trademark infringement, attempt to divert business, and even defamation.

Dany Sullivan of Search Engine Watch outlines some of the major American suits over metatags.

Google’s Matt Cutt publicly confirmed yesterday for the first time that their search algorithm does ignore metatags. See the video here.

Eric Goldman of Santa Clara Law says,

Although occasionally judges have gotten it right (see, e.g., Standard Process v. Banks). most courts still treat the presence of a third party trademark in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Proving an Email

I find it a little puzzling that when it comes to proving emails there isn’t more fuss and bother than there appears to be. Doubtless I’m missing things that Slaw readers, particularly the e-discovery folks, perhaps, will point out to me. But it strikes me that the very thing making email so wonderfully convenient is also likely to make it difficult to prove an email in a court of law. I’m referring, of course, to email’s etherial nature: the fact that an email exists both everywhere and nowhere in particular.

Unlike a printed letter, which has an actual, physical, unique . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Toronto: From 43 Bylaws to One

The City of Toronto currently operates under 43 bylaws inherited from the various municipalities that were amalgamated to make up the existing City. Work started in 2003 to rework the bylaws, and today they are working towards one proposed draft zoning bylaw. Public consultations have been taking place, with the last one coming up this Thursday in the North York Civic Centre Council Chamber. A report on the public consultation will be made at the November 4th Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting. As well, over 500 stakeholder groups have been identified. They hope for completion and adoption of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Canadian Law Profs Gaining Persuasive Authority

A new site launched less than a month ago was brought to my attention recently. Persuasive Authorities is a blog by faculty at various American law schools. But it was the Canadian contributors that I’ve encountered previously that really caught my attention.

I know Richard Albert of Boston College through political activities in Canada. With an impressive resume that includes law degrees from Yale, Harvard, and Oxford, he also clerked in the Supreme Court of Canada. His latest post on the site is about his first class at Harvard, where Duncan Kennedy described how law travelled around the world.

Comparative . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Social Media ‘A-Lists’

I’ve been thinking lately about our ability to filter down social media messaging, and the process of building ‘A-lists’. Not a list of popular people in social media, but rather, a personal ‘A-List’ — your inner circle. The goal being closer tracking of the people that you get the most value from.

One of the biggest drawbacks of engaging these tools is the raw number of follow requests. It’s almost impossible, for example, to keep track of hundreds (or thousands) of followers on twitter without using tweetdeck or another tool to group your contacts. Filtering follow lists like this, remains . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Google and Espresso: Returning to Print

Google today announced its partnership with On Demand Books, developers of the Espresso Book Machine, which can “perfect bind” a copy of a book printed on an attached copier in about three minutes, at a cost of one cent per page. (The press release [PDF] from On Demand Books is somewhat more detailed.)

This video shows the machine in action:

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Technology, Technology: Internet

Refinement on Custom Google Search of Canadian Law Firms

Colleague Katharine Thompson has shown me how to add “refinements” to my Custom Google Search of Canadian Law Firms.

A search on “wallace” (admittedly not a very sophisticated search if looking for law firm bulletin case comments on Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd., [1997] 3 S.C.R. 701) results in a number of hits on the bio’s of lawyers named Wallace.

However, with the prior search results on “wallace”, if you click on the new “Bulletins” refinement button we have added, you generate much better search results of mainly law firm bulletins on the S.C.C. decision in question . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

Two From Google

Big fuss yesterday as Google changed its doodle to show a flying saucer over a field of crop circles:

Then Google Tweeted a pair of map coordinates: 51.327629, -0.5616088

Despite much speculation even in the mainstream press — see today’s Globe and Mail, for example — no one seems to have solved the mystery of exactly what Google’s up to. The map coordinates point to Woking in England, by the way. An excerpt from the Wikipedia article on Woking suggests why Google might be interested in this Surrey town:

[I]t is the town in which the Martians first

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet

Google Offers Help to Gov 2.0

Although the Canadian government has already taken initiatives to develop social networking tools, they may be getting help soon from Google.

The official Google Public Sector blog has plenty of resources for government technology directors, including the recently concluded Gov 2.0 summit in D.C. last week, chaired by web guru Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, Inc., the guy who coined “Web 2.0.” Videos of most of the presentations are available online.

Last night Google announced the launch of Google for the Public Sector, offering a number of tools that largely already existed, such as website . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology: Internet

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

Having taken Labour Day off, I present a double edition of biotech highlights:

Double Money:

Double Caution:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Canadian Election Controversy, Served 3 Ways

When I got back from vacation just over a week ago I discovered there was an elephant in the room: a possible looming federal election that no one really wanted to discuss. Except, perhaps, the media. We’ve even avoided discussing it here on Slaw for whatever reason (are we just too polite to talk politics in public? How very Canadian). In the meantime we have a lovely trio of election-related controversies from which to sample: . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Just Because You’re on Social Media Doesn’t Mean a Licence to Be Unprofessional

That’s the message from an interesting piece in yesterday’s NYT entitled A Legal Battle: Online Attitude vs. Rules of the Bar .

Short extract suggests more issues in the future:

Stephen Gillers, an expert on legal ethics at New York University Law School, sees many more missteps in the future, as young people who grew up with Facebook and other social media enter a profession governed by centuries of legal tradition.

“Twenty-somethings have a much-reduced sense of personal privacy,” Professor Gillers said. Younger lawyers are, predictably, more comfortable with the media than their older colleagues, according to a recent survey

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, Technology: Internet